YOUNG people from across the country were urged to promote peace among religions, as the annual heritage advocacy assembly Angat Kabataan Camp (AKC) opened last May 31 at the Pampanga State Agricultural University.
“When we’re together, when we respect one another … God is there. Hindi hadlang `yung relihiyon o kultura to be friends with each other,” said AKC founder and National Commission for Culture and the Arts Commissioner Fr. Harold Rentoria, O.S.A.
This message comes amid crisis in Mindanao after the Maute terrorist group attacked the Muslim-majority city of Marawi. The conflict has led to the deaths of more than 150 people.
Lawyer Amirah Pendatun of the National Commission on Muslim Filipinos urged young people of various faiths and cultures to conduct dialogues rather than start conflicts.
“Bigyan natin ng pagkakataon ang bawat isa na pakinggan ang mga hinaing. Ano ang kanilang background at ano ang kanilang sentimiyento,” Pendatun said.
“We want this to be a venue for everyone to know each other. Their cultures, traditions, differences and commonalities,” she added.
This year marked the first time youths from outside the Catholic faith participated in the AKC, Rentoria said.
Student participants were composed of delegates from the University of Santo Tomas, Colegio San Juan de Letran Manaoag, and Fo Guang Shan Manila. Aeta students from Mary the Queen College in Pampanga performed a tribal dance.
Delegates from Cebu, General Santos City and Sarangani also attended the assembly.
The AKC, now on its ninth year, is held in line with National Heritage Month.